nlbarber: (conglomerate)
As I pulled the rolling laptop case out of the back seat this evening, it felt suspiciously light. Like, maybe the laptop wasn't in it. Yep, power supply and external drive were there, but the laptop had been left in the office. And after I'd managed to remember to transfer a couple of files to it that I want to work on this weekend...

I went ahead and changed and went to Jazzercise, but left when they moved to the floor after the aerobics. Drove back to the office, negotiated the security system, and collected the laptop. Then drove home and fixed supper.

I don't do well without sufficient sleep... )

Showing off the kitchen counter... )
nlbarber: (Default)
A couple of weeks ago I finally moved the bird feeder pole from the back yard to the front, where it's visible from the breakfast bar in the kitchen. Now I can sit in my lovely new kitchen with the wonderful stone countertop, and watch the birds.

It took a week before they seemed to find the feeder, and last weekend the visitors were mostly Carolina chickadees, with a Carolina wren and a tufted titmouse for variety. But now everyone seems to know where the feeder is, and I'm digging for the binoculars and the Sibley (bird book) with great regularity. I've never been much more than a bird-feeder bird watcher, so my ID's are rather tentative as I scramble to spot distinguishing characteristics on "new" birds. So far, in addition to the 3 above, I've seen cardinals, a house finch, a goldfinch, blue jays (they haven't tried the feeder while I've been watching--they're a litle big for it), and woodpeckers--I think both a downy and a hairy, but I'm only sure of the downy. It's hard to check beak length when they're sticking said beak in the suet cake with great rapidity, and my eye isn't attuned enough yet to say "oh, that one's bigger, it must be a hairy woodpecker". Oh, and I think I saw both a white-breasted nuthatch and a brown-headed nuthatch, but these are both new birds for me so I'm not completely sure.
nlbarber: (Default)
Yesterday (yes, Saturday) the electrician and helper arrived at 8:30 to chase down the reason one garage outlet was dead. It took them an hour of clambering around in the attic and communicating through another outlet hole in the garage ceiling, but they found the wire had gotten cut, maybe back during demolition, and never re-connected. Which explains why the work crews were always using the ceiling outlet--I thought they just liked having the cord hanging down, maybe.

Then around noon Mary arrive to add more caulk to the seam that was too low. I also pointed out two touch-up paint needs that had been missed, and she borrowed a brush from me and did those two. And then we agreed that that was all on the punch list, and that she will email me the final bill on Monday.

OK, there's still some stuff outstanding: the electrical supply house supposedly has a replacement fixture on order for over the sink, and I'll ask them to look at the humming Cat Room light when they come to replace the other. And I want to call the appliance store again and talk about why the dishwasher often doesn't release the soap dispenser door at the right time, so that half a tablet or more of soap is left at the end of the cycle. The relayed message that I should just use powder (when the manufacturer's instructions say to use tablets) is Not Satisfactory.

However, the contractor sign-off moves this from the realm of "renovation" to "maintenance"--I say the kitchen is Done!
nlbarber: (Default)
There are two things on the schedule for today: an affiliate for Home Depot to measure the living room for new carpet sometime in the morning, and Inman Park Granite to repair the countertop problems. Inman Park called yesterday around 5:30 to confirm....but somehow the appointment changed from 3 PM to "somewhere between 2 and 4, he'll call when he's on his way". OK, I'll live with it.

This morning Measurecomp (?) calls (they were to call between 7 and 9 to say when they'd be coming--the call came at 9:30). They are so sorry, but the technician's computer crashed and he can't come measure carpet. Huh? It takes a computer to do the measure? I can see wanting a computer to record the data and maybe prompt for various questions to ask, but don't they have a backup system? (Like, duh, a piece of paper?) I begged for an appointment tomorrow, but (after checking with a supervisor and calling me back) that wasn't possible. So it'll be next week, and as I have conference calls scheduled every day Monday through Thursday at the office, it won't be until Friday. I can't find out how this affects the installation, because this company doesn't do that--they just measure, then transmit the information to the store salesperson who then handles the payment. Then it will move to a third company that will have to call me and schedule installation. I may not have new carpet before the influx of relatives for niece's bat mitzvah Oct. 28, especially as there's a week in there when I'm in Moultrie for the agricultural exposition.
nlbarber: (fish bookcase)
Got a call from Mary, who was meeting Jeffrey from the appliance place at my house and (I thought) was going to do the last of the punch list, too. I asked her to talk to Jeffrey about the dishwasher--it not in-frequently leaves soap residue or the whole tablet after the cycle is done.

She called to report, and said that Fish was peering out of the green cat hut/bed, which is on the Cat Room counter. I haven't seen either cat go anywhere near that bed--Fish is usually sleeping in the blue cat bed on the laundry counter, which has a window view. Guess the green cat bed stays....

punch list stuff )

Friday the carpet people are supposed to come and measure, then Home Depot will call me and I'll make the actual purchase. So far I've just paid a fee for the measure that will all be credited to the full purchase. And Friday afternoon the granite people are to come patch the problem areas.
nlbarber: (Default)
I'm still pursuing new carpet for my living room. I've been to Betsy's wholesale place and brought home some samples, none of which really grabbed me. (My shopping for carpet is turning out to be a negative space: not the plushy stuff that shows every footprint; not the harsh feeling stuff; not the uniform solid color that will show every speck of dirt; not the jangly pattern; not something so high that the patio door would have to be cut down.) I had one that would do, but decided to make one pass at a Home Depot just to see a different selection.

HD possibility )

Now, on to pricing. carpet+pad+installation=?? )

I think I'll go to HD tomorrow and buy the carpet.
nlbarber: (remodeling)
Granite guy did show, though someone called to say he'd be late around 11:05--he got here about 11:30, I think. He admired the kitchen, including a comment (after I'd said I had been worried about the stone being overpowering) that this was the least so he'd seen. Or something like that--maybe it was "most subdued use of it". Well, I take it as a compliment--he also said that with black cabinets, the stone can be too much.

results of visit )

Award in absentia )

And some errands )
Big milestone: first meal for others cooked completely in my kitchen and eaten in my dining room (which is now cleared of most detritus from the remodeling). Nothing fancy, just salads, crockpot chicken, broccoli, and baby lima beans, with mac and cheese to supplement the kids plates. But cooked on the new cooktop, with my utensils and pots and all that.
nlbarber: (Default)
The last few details take forever....

With the assistance of my contractor, I finally got to talk to the granite guy about the bad cut in my countertop at the slot for the downdraft vent, which has a triangular hole (a small one) in one place and a crack that isn't covered by the vent apron in another. Unfortunately, I'd already paid the balance of the bill when we found these, so I don't have a lot of leverage to take a hard line stance like "replace the island countertop". And I don't really think it needs that, but an unobtrusive fill of the holes with a dark epoxy would be nice. Emphasis on the "unobtrusive".

Granite guy is due at 11, so I'm working at home until he gets here (got a database retrieval running in the background as I type).
nlbarber: (Default)
Friday I'd hoped that Mary would come and seal the floor--turns out the noxious smell at at the end of the week was just from sealing the backsplash tile. I headed out to Weight Watchers just after noon, grabbed lunch, went to my hairdresser's and got a perm (with the bonus of watching a hummingbird repeatedly posing on a pole just outside her window), then ran multiple errands. Returned home to activity.

Carpet contact, and appliance installation followup )

Unpacking all those boxes... )
I've discovered that gardening, jigsaw puzzles, and kitchen unpacking are all activities that I have a very hard time stopping, 'cause there's always just one more thing that follows from the last thing done...
nlbarber: (Default)
Work happened yesterday, but I didn't talk to anyone on the work crew about what was going on. Last night one major effort was apparent: they'd worked on the floor of the island cabinet where the appliance installer had cut a huge irregular hole. But what they did was... )

Other work: Grout sealing, floor repair, and bookcases. And Final Inspection! )
nlbarber: (Default)
First baking in the new oven: the nephew's birthday cake (he's now 7). As I haven't moved anything in yet while waiting on the punch list work and the contractor's cleaner, the cake process included such things as checking the kitchen inventory made while packing to see what could be obtained (cake pan yes, by turning one box upside down and opening the bottom--the pan was packed early; cooling rack no, so borrowed from next door), moving the KitchenAid mixer from the floor of the guest bedroom to the kitchen counter, and finding various odd-sized containers in the pantry to use for mixing frosting colors. The cake decorating tools live in the pantry (untouched by the remodeling) so those were easy to find, but the spatulas were in a box and had to be dug out.

More on the cake and the party, and a picture ) A good time was had by all including the adults, as a lot of the outdoor supervision of the 7 year olds was done by the nieces and a few of their friends.
nlbarber: (Default)
I got myself moving Friday morning thinking the contractor's people would show up early. Nope--just the scheduled "first call" HVAC routine service, and then Georgia Power showed up around 9 to make the final switch-over of the electrical service connection. Around 11:30 I called Mary to see what was happening, and she said someone was on their way back from Jasper (in north Georgia) with the last trim and the floor of the island cabinet. I headed off on to Weight Watchers and then on a long round of errands.

Got work crew. Mary finally called after 4 with a sigh to say, "You know things don't always go according to plan..." So Monday's now supposed to be the push, and the cleaner, and maybe the final DeKalb County inspection.

Mary called back sometime after 6 (on a Friday night) to say Betsy asked if she (Mary) could come pick up the "punch list draw" check--this amount gets almost all of it, with about $1,000 held out for completion of everything. I wrote the check and left it for her, as I was bouncing back and forth between my house and next door cooking at both places.
nlbarber: (Default)
The porta-potty's gone! No more smelly blue box taking up a chunk of my driveway!

And they've left the official punch list draw (bill)--this gets almost all of it, with a small reserve to be paid once the punch list is completed.

Almost there...
nlbarber: (Default)
When I got home around 6:30 last night, Jim(?) was still there, working on things like cabinet door alignment and misc. painting--the cover for the electrical panel, and staining the closet rod. The bad countertop has been repositioned to eliminate the badly patched area, with only a little more caulking in the gap than might perhaps be ideal. They got the extra shelf into the cabinet over the fridge by cutting the shelf in half, then adding new clips to hold up the 2 pieces.

I started checking over my version of the punch list, and marked a few more than half of them as done. picking nits, and some things bigger than nits )

Still working on getting the bookcases functional, too. shelf pin problems )
nlbarber: (Default)
I met with Mary last Friday and gave her one list of "things I've noticed". Then Sunday my brother and I went through the work areas again, noting down stuff like "cabinet has gap where it meets the wall" and "mitered corner of trim isn't smooth". The worst thing I found was the counter with the utility sink, where whoever installed it just mis-measured and came up short where the counter met the cabinet, so he just stuck in a skinny triangle of a patch that wasn't even level with the counter.

They're going to *clean* for me! )

Today? Really? Well, maybe... )
nlbarber: (Default)
So much for "not much will happen this week"--there's been some small stuff all week, and today things are hopping. The laminate countertop backsplashes are installed, though a couple of ends need laminate to cover them. The last trim piece on the bookcases has been stained and sealed, and today re-sanded and had another finish coat. Joey the painter is here doing other touch-ups, like the strips the carpenter just attached to the door frame around the pocket door slot.

The electricians showed up fairly early to move the electrical service to the new attach point (I think--really, I thought they'd finished all the work on the service connection a long time ago). They needed to shut off the power for an hour so so, but as it worked out, sister-in-law called to see if I could sit next door with niece-of-the-broken-arm while s-i-l and my brother went to niece's school to negotiate her 504 plan for the diabetes. I took the load of wet towels, reading material, and relocated for the morning.

Gonsalvo the carpenter is here doing the thresholds, shoe molding, installing a register cover in one cabinet baseboard, and stuff like that.

Mary had been here earlier in the week cleaning (vacuuming sawdust from cabinets, stuff like that), and came back to go over my partial punch list with me. She also mentioned the "butcher job" the appliance installer made of the cabinet in the island, where the vent goes through the floor. I had thought it was badly done, but kind of shrugged and figured it wasn't going to get better. Mary spotted it, and now has ordered a new bottom for the cabinet, will have Betsy's people install it, and the appliance company will pay the bill, it seems. I'll just stand here out of the way...

Anyway, we're getting close. I may start putting things in some of the cabinets over the weekend, and need to talk to the granite place about a sealer to use on the countertops before the temptation to move stuff on them overwhelms me.
nlbarber: (Default)
Sunday: discover, after placing clothes and liquid detergent in washing machine (now in place under the new countertop) that the machine has no water supply. Either the hoses were not hooked up, or the valves were not turned on. Decline to deal with the problem of getting washing machine out from under counter and out of drain pan to diagnose the exact problem. Haul clothes doused with detergent next door to be washed.

Monday: call Betsy in the morning and report problem. Still not fixed when I get home at 5:30. Call again, get a promise that Jack will come by: he was delayed by problems at another job site. When I get home from Jazzercise after 7 the washer has water and I can run another load of clothes. One step forward, one step back, one step forward...

I suspect nothing much will happen this week, except perhaps the plumber installing the utility sink faucet if it arrives. Jack has had to order more cabinet trim as he was unable to reuse as much as he thought, so we wait on that.

Found a couple of pits in the "granite" countertops, both of which look like places where there was a flaw in the stone and the polishing didn't go deep enough to smooth them out. I'll call the granite place and ask for a service call to see if there's anything to be done. Maybe some sort of epoxy fill--don't know what's possible.
nlbarber: (Default)
Yesterday's progress included installation of all the new door hardware (3 pocket doors and the new coat closet), the shelf and rod in the closet, and (finally!) turning over the lock in the garage door so the key goes in in the same orientation as the deadbolt. Still no strike plates for either deadbolt or knob on the garage door, though.

The garage was returned to a "their side/my side" state--I think my call to Betsy plus the note I left about them using the salvaged floorboards had some effect. Now that we're almost through, it should be a lot easier to keep all "their stuff" on "their side", and hopefully stop any rummaging around in my stuff for oddments like boards for props.

Today Rick the electrician showed up "early" ...and what he did, and will have to do )
nlbarber: (Default)
Today the last laminate countertop got installed, mostly, after it was damaged yet again during the manufacturing. The countertop is in place, but the low backsplash piece isn't, yet. Fish is pleased: this is the counter under the windows that cats are allowed on. All I can say is, getting either the washer or the dryer out from under it for service will be h*ll. But my architect thought it was such a good idea...

A little more cabinet work, and the annoyance )

Some decisions on plumbing and hardware... )

...and some wrangling over the bookcases )

Departure of the old fridge and microwave )
nlbarber: (remodeling)
I've spent most of the evening Googling for more information on my countertop. Geological information, that is. There's more info out there now than there was last summer when I found the stone, or perhaps I'm just searching on different terms. However, there's still there's a gulf between the terms and names used by the "granite" companies and those used by geologists. And so far I haven't manage to leap the gulf and find a formation name for my countertops.

But for what I did find, or already knew...

The slabs were sold to me as "Black Amazon with Gold" granite. It is not a granite at all (though some of the pebbles in it are): it's a metaconglomerate. A conglomerate, fundamentally, is a bunch of large pebbles to cobbles that are glued together somehow, usually with something finer grained like a clay. If you take that conglomerate and subject it to heat and/or pressure (say by burying it under a few thousand feet of other sediments, or by having a tectonic plate collision squish the area up some), the rock gets metamorphosed into a metaconglomerate. You can see the big pebbles in the icon photo, and might be able to see that some of them are a little stretched out by the metamorphic process.

So, today's search uncovered that this is more commonly called "Marinace", and probably hails from the state of Bahia in eastern Brazil. There's a very popular variety called Verde Marinace, but that one is decidedly greenish and mine is not. Found one site that showed a picture labeled Nero Marinace that looks like mine, or other sites that just call it Marinace. What I'm not sure of is whether "Marinace" is a generic term for conglomerate (and/or breccia, which is the same sort of thing with angular pieces instead of rounded ones), or if there are specific suppliers of each and thus maybe a specific geologic formation they come from. Or maybe Marinace is specific to Brazil, but still encompasses a range of rocks.

One last tidbit is that the Verde Marinace is Precambrian age. Which may not tell me anything about my countertop stone, of course.


nlbarber: (Default)

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